Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

The Beast

Yesterday – all day – We went to Helena and fetched back The Beast Yes – I gave up my lovely, lithe, cherished, agile 2007 GMC Sierra 4×4 with its sweet V-6 and silky 5-speed gearbox FOR THIS… well, and the darling little, rock-solid ’82 Mercedes 240D. My pickup was spending 95% of its time doing a fair job of transporting Me or Us, and once in a while wishing it could transport two more passengers. Only once in a while did it do TRUCK STUFF.

our new car

We just completed a round trip to Helena to fetch an attractive model of the car at the top of my list. I really didn’t expect to find one in good condition, but there it was. These have spectacular efficiency and longevity. With mechanical fuel injection, almost nothing can stop them if you take care of basic maintenance. 1982 Mercedes Benz 240D 4 Speed manual mid-size type : sedan drive : rwd fuel : diesel transmission : manual cylinders : 4 cylinders condition: excellent White, tan MBTex interior, sheep skin seat covers in front. Straight, and rust free. Crank windows, original AM/FM, cold A/C. Less than 15K on perfect running rebuilt engine…. starts instantly, runs great, consistently honest 30mpg town […]

another car guy blogger

This morning I discovered Eric Peters’ website. Perhaps a half-generation younger, he is strikingly similar to me in many ways. He clearly understands and has plenty of experience with high-performance driving for the sheer delight in the act itself. He also fully comprehends The Nanny State efforts to remove joy, individuality and thinking from our lives. Best of all, he can express that and more with written words. His car- and motorcycle-guy stories are like reading my own with names and places changed to protect the innocent guilty. We both understand that speed limits good for cement trucks and motor homes are not real-world relevant to high-performance bikes and cars guided by skilled drivers. Con Brio driving focuses an alert […]

crumb

Bad News / Good News Coming back from the local hardware store I dropped down to exactly 25mph in the Strictly Enforced 25mph zone through Darby, and my lovely, faithful pickup did some mild surging for a ways. It was subtle, but I felt it. After a block or so, it went away. BUT the Check Engine light did not go away. We, the pickup and I, have an appointment with the Code Talker Monday at 0830. Oh, yeah, the good news you ask? I wasn’t in Challis, Idaho or Craters Of The Moon when this all came down. By the time we get there sometime in the very near future, whatever the issue is will be resolved – at […]

nuther near miss

Funny thing on the way to town yesterday afternoon. One of those scattered squalls had ripped through, dumping deluges after flinging branches all around. But I figured the roads were probably dried off enough that I could take my hydroplaning-prone, fuel-efficient CRX without functioning seat-belts. But when I got to the car, I had the pickup keys. Oh well, it’s not that far, I’ll take the pickup. Besides, the reason for my trip is to retrain the maintainers of the Ravalli Offroad website. The Fixer pickup is actually appropriate. There turned out to be quite a bit of standing water on the roads with really dark skies just starting to move on. It’s all good. Enjoying my mellow drive home […]

first car

I bought Mom’s ’50 Plymouth from Dad when he upgraded her to a ’57 Ford. He paid $125 several years before, so that’s what it cost me in 1966. The 16-year-old factory paint was such a glossy black that reflection of sky was blue, clouds white, leaves green, etc…. darn near a mirror. My ’50 Plymouth was a 2-door coupe, unlike the one in this photo. I don’t think I have any pictures of my first car – and they would be black and white if I did. My main purchase motivation was, at 5’2″, I needed to sit on a handmade wooden box to see over the steering wheel of most cars. Buying my own car allowed me to […]

cafe’ BSA

Fairly fresh out of the service I finally got a chance to scratch that itch to own a motorcycle. Typical Ted, it couldn’t be one of the popular Hondas or Harleys. Somehow a Triumph 650 Bonneville was my ideal. I found a nearly-affordable BSA 650 Thunderbolt in the newspaper want-ads and, not knowing any difference, took an irresistible test drive. Not that I could wring anything out of it in my early motorcycle days, but the feel, sound, balance and agility were immediately apparent. Love at first ride. The transformative event in our relationship was when I decided it needed a tuneup (probably didn’t, but I worked like that). I found a Danish import Brit-Bike lover… How much for a […]